There was an article in the Arizona Republic on 08/29 about different ways to produce shade for your home and the energy saving benefits as a result. Unfortunately, I can’t find the article on-line to provide you a link. It indicated that shade produced for the home from outdoors reduces energy use more than say curtains inside the home. It had advice on where to plant trees but also had the idea to hang curtains on the patio. It told of a couple that had purchased heavy cotton drapes at IKEA and hung them along their back patio. We have done this but only along a section of the back patio. Our engery use has been lower the past few days but I don’t know if that is due to the shade produced by the drapes/curtains or if it is just weather related. Once the weather cools down, we’ll remove the outdoor curtains until next summer.